During the Week of Inspiration seven guest speakers, all at the top of their fields will visit the University of Twente. The topics of their talks will be very diverse so that everyone can find a lecture that can inspire them.

Jan Terlouw

NOTE: Jan Terlouw's lecture will be in Dutch

  • Title: De Essentie van Politiek is Moraliteit
  • Date: 20 November 12.30 - 14.00
  • Location: Waaier 1
  • Moderator: Ramses Wessel

Jan Cornelis Terlouw is a prominent Dutch politician and author. Terlouw grew up on the Veluwe. He obtained a masters degree in physics and mathematics at the University of Utrecht. After that, he received a Ph.D. in nuclear physics. He continued up his academic career in physics at several universities, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Royal Institute for Technology (KHT).

After his academic career, Terlouw became involved in Dutch politics. He got elected into the Tweede Kamer (Dutch house of Representatives) as the 'lijsttrekker' (prime candidate of the party) of Democrats 66 (D66). A political victory of his party resulted in him serving as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Affairs under the Cabinet Van Agt II.

During his politically involved years, Terlouw published among others several children's books, including Oorlogswinter (Winter in Wartime), for which he won the Gouden Griffel (a Dutch literary prize).

Currently, Terlouw is a major advocate of transitioning to more durable sources of energy. Besides that, he aims for society to have more trust in one another, which he discussed on the Dutch talk show De Wereld Draait Door (DWDD).

In his lecture, Jan Terlouw will discuss the importance of morality in politics. His lecture is titled: 'De Essentie van Politiek is Moraliteit'

Philipp Gunz

  • Title: What Makes Us Human? - How Recent Discoveries Force Us to Rethink the Origin of Our Species
  • Date: 20 November 19.00 - 22.00
  • Location: Waaier 1
  • Moderator: Miko Elwenspoek

Philipp Gunz will present his lecture called: 'What Makes Us Human? - How Recent Discoveries Force Us to Rethink the Origin of Our Species'.

Susan Blackmore

  • Title: The Illusions of Consciousness
  • Date: 21 November 12.40 - 14.00
  • Location: Waaier 1
  • Moderator: Rob van der Lubbe

Susan Blackmore is a Visiting Professor at the University of Plymouth. She has done research in the field of memes, evolutionary theory, psychology, parapsychology, and consciousness.

Blackmore received her BA (Hons) degree in psychology and physiology at St Hilda’s College, Oxford. After a “dramatic out of body experience” she continued her academic path with a Ph.D. in parapsychology. She was convinced of the paranormal, yet, as time went by and she did more research, she could find no evidence for the existence of paranormal phenomena and her attitude shifted from believing to skeptical.

In her career, Blackmore has written twelve books, contributed chapters to over eighty other books and written over sixty scholarly articles. Her best-known book, The Meme Machine (2000), is about meme theory and has been translated into sixteen other languages. She has also written several books on consciousness, including Consciousness: An Introduction (2011). Her latest book, inspired by her original experience is Seeing Myself: The new science of out-of-body experiences.

During the Week of Inspiration, Susan Blackmore will with us her lecture on 'The Illusions of Consciousness'.

John D. Barrow

  • Title: Our Place in the Universe
  • Date: 21 November 19.00 - 22.00
  • Location: Waaier 1
  • Moderator: Hans Hilgenkamp

John D. Barrow is an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and mathematician. He obtained his degree in mathematics and physics at the University of Durham, after which he obtained his doctorate in astrophysics at Oxford University. He continued to research in cosmology at Oxford University and the University of California at Berkeley.

He was a professor of Astronomy at the University of Sussex and also held the Gresham Professorships of Geometry and of Astronomy at Gresham College in London. He has been Professor of Mathematical Sciences and Director of the Millennium Mathematics Project at the University of Cambridge since 1999. Barrow has published over 500 journal articles and 22 books. He co-wrote the book The Anthropic Cosmological Principle. This book is a philosophical and scientific discussion about the significance and place of life in the universe.

He has received many international awards. Most recently, in 2015, he was awarded the Dirac Gold Medal of the Institute of Physics. In 2016, he also received the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and a member of the Academia Europaea

In his lecture, Barrow will inspire us with his talk titled: 'Our Place in the Universe' 

Claudia Olsson

  • Title: Exponential Technologies in a Global Landscape
  • Date: 22 November 12.40 - 14.00
  • Location: Waaier 1
  • Moderator: Peter Paul Verbeek

Claudia Olsson, founder and CEO of Exponential, a global consultancy specializing in providing strategic advice, analysis and professional development related to the digital transformation. Claudia is one of the Nordic region’s most sought-after speakers on exponential technologies, future trends, leadership and governance. Her work focuses on the impact of new technologies on citizens, society, and global markets.

In 2016, Claudia authored the Sweden 2030 future scenario for the Digitalization Commission at the Government of Sweden, focused on the digital, integrated, smart and competitive society. She also co-authored the acclaimed report “Blockchain-Decentralized Trust” for the Entrepreneurship Forum. Based on the research that Claudia conducts, she has founded Exponential AB to help businesses and governments translate technology development into strategy. Claudia is passionate about addressing global challenges through smart solutions in governance, technology, and business.

Claudia has served as Associate Faculty at Singularity University as well as Senior Advisor to the Office of Strategic Analysis at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Sweden. Claudia previously set up and managed the policy think-tank ACCESS Health International in Singapore following her work for ACCESS in India and her assignment with the United Nations, Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). In addition to repeatedly being ranked as one of Sweden’s top young business talents, Claudia Olsson has been awarded multiple honors including: The Young Leader of the year in Sweden by 4Potentials, a Leader of the Next Generation by the Stars Foundation in Switzerland and China, a Gifted Citizen by La Ciudad de las Ideas in Mexico and the European David Rockefeller Fellowship at the Trilateral Commission.

During the Week of Inspiration, Olsson will enlighten us with her lecture called: 'Exponential Technologies in a Global Landscape'.

Bram Bakker

  • Title: Pills or Running for Psychiatry?
  • Date: 22 November 19.30 - 22.00
  • Location: Waaier 1
  • Moderator: Hiska Bakker

Bram Bakker studied medicine at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU). He obtained his medical degree in 1991. Then, he specialized in psychiatry at the Valeriuskliniek in Amsterdam (now GGZ inGeest). In this same period, he researched treatment of anxiety disorder with drugs and conversations. He obtained his doctorate in 2000 at the VU.

Bakker has worked at diverse locations. Ranging from the psychiatric department of a hospital in Amsterdam to a national center for eating disorders Ursula in Leidschendam. He was also the medical director of SolutionS, the first private rehabilitation center in the Netherlands.

In 2012 Bakker started a function at Vitaalpunt, an institution for diagnosis and treatment of diverse psychological and physical symptoms. In 2015 he started at Zorg van de Zaak and in the same year, he became medical director at Rodersana, an institution that helps people overcome all kinds of addictions.

Currently, Bakker is a psychiatrist at Sitagre. He is also a publisher at Uitgeverij Lucht and Uitgeverij Waaier. Besides that, he regularly writes columns for several newspapers and has published several books.

In his lecture, Bram Bakker will share with us his vision on psychiatry in his talk titled: 'Pills or Running for Psychiatry'.

Steven Cowley

  • Title: The Scientific Challenges of Fusion Power
  • Date: 23 November 12.40 - 14.00
  • Location: Waaier 1
  • Moderator: Serge Lemay

Professor Steven Cowley FRS, FREng is a leading theoretical physicist, with a particular interest in nuclear fusion.  He has just taken over as President of Corpus Christi College and joined the Physics Department at Oxford. Prior to this, he was CEO of the UK Atomic Energy Authority, based at Culham, Oxfordshire, leader of the laboratory there and part-time Professor at Imperial College, London. He also has a long and distinguished career at Princeton and UCLA behind him.  Professor Cowley acts as an adviser to the government, but also finds time to speak in schools; he has made a number of media appearances, including a very popular TED talk on fusion power. 

During the Week of Inspiration, Cowley will share with us his lecture titled: 'The Scientific Challenges of Fusion Power'.